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Architectural CAD
Curriculum code 1436
Course Requirements                    CAD Program Web site Gainful Employment Information

The Architectural CAD Certificate is a short-term program allowing students to focus CAD knowledge and skills in the architectural field. Students will be  introduced to industrial standards and practices for drawing commercial and residential structures. Common practices and techniques will be discussed regarding CAD architectural drawings. In addition, third-party CAD software and symbol libraries will be utilized in the creation and completion of the drawings. Additional courses offer an opportunity to study three-dimensional drawing and computer animation.

Nature of Work—CAD drafters in the architectural field frequently work with architects in the design and layout of residential and commercial buildings. Drafters may be responsible for preparing floor plans, detail drawings, electrical/HVAC layout plans, elevations and other required drawings. In addition, because of their knowledge of the CAD system, CAD drafters may be used to maintain and trouble shoot CAD network.

Related Job Title—Architectural CAD drafter, architectural CAD designer, architectural drafter

Related Programs—Mechanical Design and Drafting/CAD A.A.S. (64 credit hours), Mechanical Design and Drafting Certificate (30 credit hours), Mechanical Design CAD Certificate (23 credit hours), CAD Programming/Management Certificate (18 credit hours), and Computer Animation Certificate (23 credit hours)

Employment Outlook—Employment of drafters is expected to grow by 4 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is slower than the average for all occupations. However, growth will vary by specialty.

Opportunities should be best for individuals with at least two years of college level training in a drafting/design/CAD program that provides strong  technical skills. Further, drafters are beginning to break out of the traditional drafting role and increasingly do work formerly performed by engineers and architects, thus also increasing demand for drafters, as well as by architects and engineers, should limit demand for lesser skilled drafters. Most job openings are expected to arise from the need to replace drafters who transfer to other occupations, leave the labor force or retire.

CAD has increased the complexity of drafting applications while enhancing the productivity of drafters. It also has enhanced the nature of drafting by creating more possibilities for design and drafting. As technology continues to advance, employers will look for drafters with a strong background in fundamental drafting principles, a higher level of technical sophistication, and an ability to apply their knowledge to a broader range of responsibilities. Demand for particular drafting specialties varies throughout the country because employment usually is contingent upon the needs of local industry. Employment of drafters remains highly concentrated in industries that are sensitive to cyclical changes in the economy, such as manufacturing, architectural and engineering services. A growing number of drafters should continue to find employment on a temporary or contract basis as more companies turn to the employment services industry to meet their changing needs.

Drafters' earnings vary by specialty, location, and level of responsibility. Median annual wages of architectural and civil drafters were $44,490 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,290 and $55,740. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,220, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,110. Median annual wages for architectural and civil drafters in architectural, engineering, and related services were $44,390. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011

For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center, Student Services Center, S202, at (708) 974-5737. www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.

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